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Analysis of Part 1 of Of Mice and Men Essay


From what I have so read so far, I get the impression that George Milton is a very astute and alert man. This idea is postulated when Steinbeck describes George as having restless eyes This is also particularly poignant later, in Part one, when Lennie goes to fetch the dead mouse out of the bushes by the river. George picks up on this because he hears splashing down the river in the direction Lennie had taken.

At the start of Part One when George and Lennie are walking along the path, George walks in front of Lennie. This reveals him to be the leader of the two. George is the one who organises work, both for himself and Lennie. He also sorts out transport for them. He decides where they are going to rest for the night and organises their supper. This shows him to be a very practical and organised man. In the text we learn how he remembers to bring three cans of beans in his bindle, a pocket knife and two spoons.

From early in the novel, the reader has the impression that George is a very cruel and bitter man. This is suggested not only in his physical appearance when he is described as having strong, sharp features, but also in his movement and mannerisms. When Steinbeck is describing Georges actions he uses harsh sounding words such as snapped, threw and jerked. Steinbeck uses this language to convey Georges character as the use of hard letters and syllables demonstrates sharpness and harshness. I also have the impression that George is a very angry man from his over use of expletives. He refers to the bus driver as a bastard and recalls how they had to walk God damn near four miles. Georges use of fowl language also conveys a lot about his social background. His use of expletives and bad grammar, suggests that he may not have come from a wealthy, caring family.

George has a strange relationship with Lennie. He refers to Lennie as a crazy bastard and talks to him in a degrading and childlike manner. I think that George feels superior to Lennie as he addresses him as a good boy and this is the manner in which you would normally address an animal. George also takes a lot of his anger out on Lennie. He often gets exasperated with Lennie and lashes out at him saying how his life would be so easy without him and that he could maybe get a girl. George also scolds Lennie as if he were a child. He also treats him as if he was a child. He doesnt let him carry his bus pass and tells him to jus stand there and dont say nothing when they go to see the boss in the ranch. The fact that George seems to be so frustrated with Lennie all of the time makes us wonder why he stays with Lennie and doesnt leave him to care for himself.

Georges attitude towards Lennie often comes across as quite harsh. However, in reality, George is actually looking out for Lennie. The reader must appreciate the fact that he is caring for Lennie and making sure no harm comes to him. George seems to rescue Lennie from trouble quite a lot: George describes how you do bad things and I have to get you out. George also describes an incident when they had to hide out in an irrigation ditch while guys looked for them because Lennie had touched a girls dress. Although all these things make George angry with Lennie, George always forgets his anger when he remembers how innocent and forgetful Lennie really is. The fact that George sets out a plan for Lennie in case he gets into bother again reveals that George has some compassion for him. George is described at the beginning of the novel as small and quick, therefore it is highly ironic that he has to look out for the tall, lumbering man that is Lennie.

The dream has a soothing effect on George and it calms him down. George has told the dream many times before yet, it doesnt seem to bore him and when he tells it, his voice became deeper and he repeated his words rhythmically. Although we know that George is telling the dream to Lennie to entertain him, in a sense George also enjoys the dream that they have made up together and it is a form of escapism for him. It illustrates that George does have hopes and aspirations for the future. He has no desire to work on a ranch for the rest of his life. However, when George tells Lennie that he can have different coloured rabbits, it reveals to us that George knows that it is only a dream. He knows that it will actually never happen and this shows George to be realistic.

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